Week 7 of the NFL season has (mostly) come and gone, and fantasy teams around the nation are struggling to find that missing piece to add to their roster to either secure a playoff birth, or to avoid some ridiculous last-place punishment. Either way, we'll take a look at five players who showed impressive outings, boosting their fantasy value, as well as the guys who had lackluster, head-scratching weeks. We'll start with the losers.
Losers: RB Bijan Robinson | 0.30 pts
When a player gets drafted eighth overall, there are high expectations to perform at the highest level right out of the gate. In Robinson's case, he's mostly lived up to these expectations, coming into Week 7 as fantasy football's #8 ranked running back. However things were much different for Robinson in his team's 16-13 thriller win against Tampa Bay.
Robinson played a season-low 10/64 offensive snaps and recorded a single carry for three yards in a confusing performance. After coming into the week with no injury designation, fantasy managers wondered why Robinson fell to the bottom of Atlanta's depth chart.
Fans around social media were stunned at Robinson's performance, which was later chalked up to the running back "not feeling so well" via Falcons head coach Arthur Smith.
If Robinson is good-to-go next week for a matchup against the Titans, expect the rookie to get back to form, which saw him open the season with six straight double-digit games.
WR Calvin Ridley | 1.50 pts
The Jacksonville Jaguars have been rolling in the 2023 season, accumulating a 5-2 record thus far. The fifth-year wideout has largely been apart of this success, amassing two 20+ point games in Week 1 and Week 5, but his Week 7 performance against the Saints left little to celebrate.
Ridley finished with just one catch for five yards on four targets as Christian Kirk led the Jaguars in receiving with six catches for 90 yards and a score. As Ridley attempts to reintegrate with the NFL after serving a year long suspension for violating the NFL's gambling policy, look for him to ramp up production against favorable matchups in Week 8 and Week 11, where he plays the Steelers and Titans. Both teams rank among the bottom of the league against wide receivers (#29 and #26 respectively).
RB Josh Jacobs | 5.10 pts
Coming into Week 7 as the #11 ranked running back in fantasy football, Josh Jacobs has largely still not impressed fantasy managers like he did in 2022, where he had four 30+ point games and totaled 328.30 fantasy points.
In his matchup against the Bears, Jacobs ran 11 times for 35 yards and added one reception for six yards. Jacobs is still yet to eclipse 70 rushing yards in a game and next week's matchup against a bruising Detroit Lions run defense leaves him at a flex option at best. However, as long as signal caller Brian Hoyer is starting for injured quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, expect Vegas to push the tempo in the ground game, leaving openings for their star offensive playmaker Davante Adams.
"It's just not enough," head coach Josh McDaniels said after the loss. "We have to figure out something, as a staff, as a team, to try to be able to be more productive."
RB Austin Ekeler | 5.60 pts
Austin Ekeler was viewed by many as a consensus top-5 fantasy draft pick, and his season debut against the Dolphins proved this notion, as he totaled 26.40 points on 117 rushing yards and a touchdown. However, after returning from a high ankle sprain that kept him sidelined from Weeks 2-5, Ekeler has struggled to find the same success on the ground.
In his Week 7 matchup against the Kansas City Cheifs, Ekeler had 14 carries for just 45 yards as well as one catch for one yard in the 31-17 loss. In his last two weeks combined, he's only garnered 72 rushing yards, but look for the 28-year-old to turn things around. Three of his next four games includes matchups against the Bears (#27), Jets (#25) and the Packers (#30).
Fantasy owners should be weary of Ekeler's injury status throughout the upcoming week, as he appeared to injure his ankle in the first half. Ekeler played through the pain, but if this trend continues, he could find himself falling out of lineups.
WR Cooper Kupp | 6.90. pts
Coming into his third game of the season against the Steelers, Cooper Kupp was averaging 23.80 fantasy points and looked to add to that with a juicy matchup against a struggling Pittsburgh secondary. However, Kupp himself struggled in Week 7.
On seven targets, Kupp had two receptions for just 29 yards in the Rams' 24-17 loss. Kupp largely took a backseat role to teammate Puka Nacua, who had 23.40 points on eight catches for 154 yards, as he continues to dazzle in his rookie campaign.
"I gotta do more for us," the 2021 Offensive Player of the Year said after the game. "I can obviously do a much better job there."
Winners: RB Jahmyr Gibbs | 27.6 pts
The Baltimore Ravens made easy work of the highly touted Detroit Lions, winning the their matchup 38-6. The Lions’ offense had little to be excited about, but that little bright spot was rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs. The Lions selected Gibbs 12th overall in this year’s NFL draft, but fans have been wondering when he would start to ramp up the production.
In the loss, the rookie from Alabama tallied 11 carries for 68 yards and a touchdown, as well as nine catches for 58 yards through the air. This was Gibbs’ second time securing the double-digit mark for points, and fantasy managers should be relieved to hear that Gibbs will continue to anchor Detroit’s backfield as long as starter David Montgomery is out.
“I was pleased with Gibbs,” Lions head coach Dan Campbell said in the post-game press conference. “I thought he took a step forward today…I feel like the more he plays, the better he’s gonna get.”
RB D’Onta Foreman | 33.00 pts
The Chicago Bears’ offense has been lackluster this season, and things did not look like they would be turning around for them after starting quarterback Justin Fields went down with a dislocated right thumb. However, rookie Tyson Bagent led the Bears offense to a 30-12 win against the Las Vegas Raiders.
With guys atop the depth chart like Khalil Herbert, Roschon Johnson and Travis Homer all sustaining injuries, Foreman would be tasked with leading the Bears’ backfield for a second straight week. This week saw a much improved statline, as Foreman rushed 16 times for 89 yards and two scores. He also added three receptions for 31 yards and a score through the air.
“D’Onta Foreman did a nice job of running the ball,” Bears head coach Matt Eberflus told the media. Expect this trend to continue for Foreman, who’s averaging 4.9 yards per carry over his last two starts, as he continues to handle the workload in Chicago.
"I feel like we ran the ball well," Foreman said. "I'm just trying to continue to be the best I can be and continue to grow as a football player."
WR A.J. Brown | 29.70 pts
Brown and the Eagles have been on a mission so far this NFL season. The Eagles are 6-1 and sit on top of the NFC East division, and Brown is a major factor in that.
During Philadelphia’s 31-17 win Sunday night over the Dolphins, Brown had ten receptions for 137 yards and a touchdown. This marks Brown’s fifth straight game with 125+ receiving yards, tying an NFL record, and managers should expect this to continue into Week 8, where he takes on a Commanders defense that ranks #24 against fantasy wideouts. It’s also worth mentioning that Brown scored 38.50 points against the Commanders when the two teams faced each other back in Week 4.
“I don’t wanna say that I’m in the zone,” Brown joked in his post-game press conference. “Whatever I have at the end of the game is what I have at the end of the game, but whenever I get my opportunity, you know I have to come alive."
RB Jonathan Taylor | 21.00 pts
While Taylor’s statline in the Colts’ 39-38 loss to the Cleveland Browns may not have shown the most impressive outing, fantasy managers should be very excited to see him back scoring touchdowns and eclipsing the 20-point mark, the first time he’s done so this season.
Taylor, who missed the first four games of the season due to a contract dispute, racked up 18 carries for 75 yards and a touchdown, while also adding three receptions for 45 yards in the air. This was the first time this season where we saw Taylor outwork his teammate Zack Moss, who led the backfield while Taylor was out.
If Taylor can prove to score fantasy points against stout defenses like the Browns, look for him to receive more of the work in his next three matchups, where he takes on the Saints, Panthers and Patriots, all teams who have struggled mightily in 2023.
RB Alvin Kamara | 29.30 pts
After serving a three-game suspension for violating the league’s conduct policy on an incident that occurred in 2022, Kamara has been on fire to start his season. He’s posted at least 17 fantasy points in all of his first four games played, including his team’s Thursday night 31-24 loss against the Jaguars.
Kamara took seemingly every snap and finished the game with 17 carries for 62 yards as well as 12 catches for 91 yards. It’s also important to point out that backup running back Jamaal Williams only got five carries after returning to the lineup from a four-game absence, solidifying Kamara’s presence in the backfield.
“I think we left some opportunities out there,” Kamara told reporters after the game. “Sometimes it’s tough because I feel like we’re not playing matchup ball, we’re just playing.”
Look for the seventh-year veteran to continue to lead the New Orleans backfield in their next two matchups as the Saints take on the Colts and Bears, who rank #26 and #27 respectively against fantasy running backs.